Thursday, January 19, 2012

On poet Jefferson Bethke

SO I've decided it's been way too long since I've blogged and it's about time I clear out the cob webbs here-and I figured,why not blog about the video that is blowing up in the world: 'Why I hate religion, but love Jesus'...

Now my husband and I watched this video when it only had about...300 views. It's currently over 15 million views (just on youtube)!

Ok so my opinion, ya know, for what it's worth.

From a performers view this video was extremely well done (filming, editing, etc) and it had a respectable, genuine expression of his heart for Jesus and religion... (specifically religion today).

As a Christian:

Honestly, when I first watched it I had tears in my eyes and I was shouting 'Amen' and 'Hallelujah' every other sentence (and I'm pretty sure I heard grumbles coming from my downstairs neighbor). Ok, my first reaction.

Second reaction came the next day after seeing the hundreds of comments other Christians left. There were some positive but many I saw were mostly negative. And that's not to say that I didn't agree with some things I read but I was very surprised at the Christians who actually insulted this man and his video. I can agree though that the message he was trying to convey could have been clearer. I absolutely agree that we are called to fellowship and to be the body of Christ (to nonbelievers AND our Christian brothers and sisters). I can see how that issue could upset believers because a non believer watching this can think "ok-soooo I don't need to go to church or follow God's commands???" But that's just one of the things that someone can mistakenly take away from this. I can understand where he was coming from though and Christians need to know that his intentions were not bad. And he is not perfect. No one is. Not on this earth at least.

I think I'm really passionate about his poem because I understand and have experienced what he's talking about. I have had harsh judgement not from members in a church, but from pastors and priests. I'd rather not go to in depth but basically I've been told that because of my former background as a Catholic I could not be trusted and leader of the church needed to protect his sheep.... (even after I explained that I am a saved Christian through Jesus Christ *for 8 years now* in search for the "right" church). So I guess that's why I had my first reaction to his video. I think that there are definitely churches out there that need to be more of an image of Christ to everyone, especially to people seeking shelter in their church. This whole seperation that Christians have going on now is definitely not what God called us to do. None of this "My denomination is the true religion or my church is better than yours!"-Christians have to realize that this chases others away. And the point he made about reaching out more to serve and love others is our purpose in this life, right?

Here's an exerpt I read from Max Lucado's 'A Gentle Thunder':

"God has only one flock. Somehow, we missed that. Religious division is not his idea. Franchises and sectarianism are not if God's plan. God has one flock. The flock has one shepherd. And though we may think there are many, we are wrong. There is only one.
Never in the Bible are we told to create unity. We are simply told to maintain the unity that exists. Paul exhorts us to preserve "the unity which the Spirit gives" (Ephesians. 4:3, NEB). Our task is not to invent unity, but to acknowledge it....When I see someone calling God Father and Jesus Savior, I meet a brother or a sister -- regardless of the name of their church or denomination.
By the way, the church names we banter about? They do not exist in heaven. The Book of Life does not list your denomination next to your name. Why? Because it is not the denomination that saves you. And I wonder, if there are no denominations in heaven, why do we have denominations on earth?
What would happen (I know this is a crazy thought), but what would happen if all churches agreed, on a given day, to change their names to simply "church"? What if any reference to any denomination were removed and we were all just Christians? And then when people chose which church to attend, they wouldn't do so by the sign outside ... they'd do so by the hearts of the people inside. And then when people were asked what church they attended their answer wouldn't be a label but just a location. And then we Christians wouldn't be known for what divides us; instead we'd be known for what unites us -- our common Father.

Crazy idea? Perhaps.

But I think God would like it. It was his to begin with." Max Lucado

The judgement I've received are still painful and make it all the more harder in our search but God is good. Always. And He'll bring us through this.

Anyway, there was my opinion on the whole matter. I still love the video even with it's flaws. It's his heart and his feelings about the church today. Who am I to have pass any kind of judgement on that?

Thanks for reading and if you can, keep my husband and I in your prayers in our search for the "right" church. ^.^

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